The football teams at all three of Iowa’s public universities open their seasons on Saturday and fans are warned to be careful if they’re trying to buy gameday tickets, t-shirts and other merchandise.
Susan Buck, spokeswoman for the Better Business Bureau, says to beware of buying anything from unknown or unreliable online retailers. “They’re just trying to scam you for your credit card information or your personal information or they’re selling counterfeit merchandise, which is also something you want to steer clear of,” Buck says.
Before you buy a Hawkeye hat, a Cyclone jersey or a Panther sweatshirt, Buck says to look for the telltale signs that may reveal a scam or counterfeit company. “Poor website design and sloppy English,” Buck says. “If it’s a legitimate company with an established website, they’re not going to have spelling errors and grammatical errors on their website.” The site may offer discounted prices and free shipping to save you some cash, but Buck says it’s likely best to punt.
“You are kind of taking a leap of faith and that’s why it’s really important to do your research first, before you hand over your credit card number,” she says. If the website looks fishy, it’s best to move on and find another one. Iowa’s three state schools all have official websites for apparel.
Here are the school links: